Originally Posted by BDawg
So I've had a digital MES 30 (no window) for about 2 1/2 years and have been generally happy with it. Probably my biggest complaint is that I never could get a really nice crispy chicken skin, but oh well.
However, now it has developed the common problem where it throws the GFCI breaker any time I start it up. I don't like the idea plugging it into another outlet.
1) has anyone figured out what causes this? Is there a simple fix or is the thing now an electric shock machine lying in wait?
2) If the answer to 1 is either too costly (ie, not worth it) or too complicated, then I'm looking for some advice on where to go next.
I have probably used my smoker about once a month on average since I bought it. Sometimes I'll get into a streak and make many things in short order, other times it will sit for a couple months or more. Living here near Seattle, the weather is often uncooperative.
Anyways, I'm open to moving away from electric, but I'm not sure if there are any non-electric smokers that are as easy to control without a massive cash outlay. I really like the idea of something that keeps temperature steady and on target without a lot of intervention, like the MES gave me. However, if there are other smokers out there that are easy to control also, I'd be interested in checking them out.
Any thoughts and/or recommendations would be most appreciated.
BDawg, In see you live in Washington state. I don't know how you store your smoker. I can say that I store mine covered and outdoors. It is very humid in Virginia this time of year. I have the same GFCI troubles that you have. If you are storing the smoker inside away from 65+ humidity I don't know what will help. By keeping the RH low, below 65 it will help your situation. As far as your smoker electrocuting you . you are probably safe. I wrote this in response to a similar post. It is about GFCI's and electricity.
Good common sense should always prevail. Any damage to the cord should be repaired prior to use.
Saying this is like having a warning label on a gun barrel or on a pack of cigarettes.
A GFCI is very sensitive It will trip with the smallest amount of UN balanced circuit. It trips at 0.04 to 0.06 milliamps.
All it does is compare the amount of energy going out against what comes back.
Just to get a feel for what low levels it trips at you may feel 1ma (a tingle) at 4-6 the GfCI trips and at 10 ma you can still let go but at 15 ma you hang on and it goes on from there. Most of us will survive a encounter of 30ma. From there up amperage causes damage .Remember that electricity is harder on children than adults.
I won't bore you all any more.
I will say that in my 3rd year of apprenticeship school we had a slow night and the instructor showed us graphic safety films. I will never forget the reaction of some of the students. Basically it was Why did you not show this 2 years ago? The next night there were 3 or 4 empty seats.
Plug it into a non GFCI receptacle Let it run for a couple of hours like Walta suggested and it will dry out the element. If it trips your panel breaker you have a short and the hot wire is touching the smoker box. If you don't want to do this your choices are limited.
In my opinion there are no other choices., except store it in a garage, house or shed away from the weather changes.
This is a common problem and the only way to rectify it is to eliminate the humidity. Jted